Dave Goulson

Biologist

Professor Dave Goulson grew up in rural Shropshire, UK, where he developed an early obsession with wildlife. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Oxford University, followed by a doctorate on butterfly ecology at Oxford Brookes University. Subsequently, he lectured in biology for 11 years at the University of Southampton, and it was here that he began to study bumblebees in earnest. He has published 300 scientific articles on the ecology and conservation of bumblebees and other insects and is author to a numerous books, including the Sunday Times bestseller A Sting in the Tale, a popular science book about bumble bees now translated into ten languages. Dave founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and was given many awards for his work. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the BBC Wildlife Magazine listed him as the eighth most influential person in conservation.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

Insects and their disappearing cought my attention already last year and together with issues of distributing agriculture funds it became really important for me. After reading reviews of prof. Goulson’s book and our call, I am sure he was the right person to speak about this environmental topic on alarming disappearance of insects. Prof. Goulson is a natural storyteller with great passion for insects and I am convinced he will captivate you. (Peter Jančár)

Atli Már Hreggviðsson

Voluntary rescuer

Atli Már Hreggviðsson is a married Iceland guy, a father of three. He studied for a dairyman in Denmark and now works as a full-time mechanic at a workshop that works with snowmobiles, buggy cars and ATVs. IHe has been an active member of the ICE-SAR since 2010. He has always been very interested in any kind of vehicles, superjeeps and snowmobiles, and therefore decided to start voluntaring in a rescue team. He works in two rescue teams now, is trained to be called in the most difficult situations and needs to be self-reliant for 24 hours. Also, he is in a regional management team that manages search and rescue.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

While watching videos on the internet I came across a story of a volunteer search and rescue group from Iceland. As I watched it I had goosebumps in certain moments and I knew I wanted to know more. What kind of people are willing to help voluntarily in such hostile Icelandic conditions and risk their lives? Why do they do that and what is their motivation? When searching more, I found Atli – one of the team members. I did not hesitate, contacted him and after our first call I knew that everyone who does volunteering or at least considers it has to hear Atli’s story.(Šimon Šiplák)

Valentína Sedileková

Student

Valentína Sedileková is a founder of the nationwide project Taste to Live, dedicated to eating disorders, which she goes through. Its tasks are to spread awareness, prevention and assistance, as well as to improve and highlight the state of child psychiatry in Slovakia. In addition, she is writing books – a fantasy trilogy with a political theme Venile or an autobiographical work The Taste to Live about life with anorexia. She is interested in politics, education, history and domestic and world events, and publishes articles in Denník N and Trend magazine. She is eighteen years old and in parallel she studies in Bratislava at the LEAF Academy and in Banska Bystrica at the Tajovsky Grammar School.

Why do we want to introduce her to you?

Digital times bring various pitfalls. One of them is the image of a perfect woman and a perfect man. There are ads promoting weight loss attacking us from each sides, pictures of a happy person with a certain stereotypical appearance and figure is being offered. Not everyone can withstand this pressure and especially the young people and adolescents, who struggle with their own self-esteem and finding their place in society every day, are the most vulnerable. There is a very little talk about eating disorders in Slovakia. As if it was not a disease to be treated, but just a whim and an effort to be interesting. Yet, the numbers are alarming. Valentina has impressed me with her mature performance and determination to help people who have gone through similar problems as she did. (Monika Ďurajková)

Tibor Hujdič

Reading promoter

Tibor Hujdič promotes reading to children and reading of children. He uses dramatised reading to introduce books and inspire school children to read. He leads workshops for teachers, librarians and parents on how to raise interest of children in reading and to develop the skills of reading literacy. He had his own radio show “Children’s library” on quality books for children and youth and he founded an online bookstore for children Mrkvicka.sk.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

I met Tibor on the train. We talked about me how he promotes book reading in schools and why he thinks it is important. It was clear this topic was his passion, he knows a lot about reading a he can talk about it in an interesting way. He considers reading quality literature and developing reading literacy from early age to be a way to cultivate the society, to protect it from hoaxes and to facilitate economic prosperity. Tibor can inspire us how to turn our passion to our mission and how to change our world step by step. (Katarína Lesayová.)

Ján Gondoľ

Open innovator

It’s hard to put a label on Jan Gondoľ because he doesn’t fit in any box. He’s fascinated by information and how it’s used. In 2009 he earned his PhD in information science and after five years in academia he started to work more on openness and open data. Jan became the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Point of Contact for Slovakia where he started activities in open education, open access to scientific research and use of open source software. He co-founded SPy (Slovak Python) civic association which organizes IT conferences PyCon Slovakia and makes IT education in dozens of schools across the country more interesting. Jan cooperates with organizations across the globe working on open education, open science, open data and open source software. He was chosen by Res Publica, Google, Visegrad Fund and the Financial Times as one of New Europe 100 emerging technology stars. He is a digital bookworm and when he procrastinates, his favorite activity is reading hckrnews.com.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

Before I met Jan I thought I knew a lot about open data. Yet right at our first meeting I realized how wrong I had been. Jan shared with me an unbelievable amount of stories about “open stuff” (open data, open educational resources, etc.) which helps people in everyday life. Do you use Google maps and navigation? Next time, try Openstreetmap, which has been developed by a huge number of volunteers and is, in many cases, much more precise and up-to-date than any other map. The open movements show us the value of openness and how “going open” helps us trust each other more. (Šimon Šiplák)

Braňo Dobšinský

Journalist

Braňo Dobšinský is a journalist who has worked for many Slovak media houses for over 20 years, but devoted most of his career to working in electronic media, where he anchored several radio and television discussion programs. He has been working in the media since 1995, experienced as a journalist the times of meciarism, but also the entry of Slovakia into the EU or NATO. His love is mainly radio, where, in addition to anchoring political discussion program, he also created his own discussion format “Without Cover”, where he revealed deeper motives, characters of inspiring personalities from various areas of our society. He has confessed many Slovak presidents, prime ministers, ministers and politicians. He follows the Masaryk principle “Democracy, that is a discussion”, and as he says man has two ears and only one mouth to listen more than he says.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

Perhaps every one of us knows his voice. I have always liked to listen to his radio discussions because his questions were able to penetrate the problem and reveal the mental world of otherwise inaccessible politicians. Braňo will offer us instructions on how to look for a common denominator and a common language with the people we often close the door for their opposite views. But nowadays, we should not go this way. (Monika Ďurajková)

Martin Lipták

Marketer, activist

Martin Lipták leads a double life. He is in charge of social media for president Andrej Kiska and at the same time he is a co-founder of organization Čierne Diery (Black Holes), which is dedicated to industrial monuments and forgotten places of Slovakia. After five years, this organization became a (cultural) phenomenon. Thousands of people are reading their articles, people stand in the line to buy their graphics and their book has been sold-out three times in a very short period of time. Čierne diery are helping to spread the stories of historical sights, that may not be here anymore for next generations to see. Their profits, which they make from selling collectible items, are used to help historical monuments and they are currently working on project in the field. They built a forest sauna, that will serve the residents and tourists in Spišský Hrhov. And they are planning to revive a historical ruin in forgotten corner of Slovakia, but they won’t tell any details yet.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

Sometimes I feel as if Slovakia was a country of many undiscovered places. Most of the people know mainly some of the well-known historical monuments, that we are presenting everywhere. Bojnice castle, Bratislava castle, Betliar manor… But besides these, there are also many historical sights documenting our industry, that are slowly but surely getting lost. Few years ago, when I first found Čierne diery, they had few hundred fans on their Facebook page and I loved each new post, because I learnt something new about the country, where I live my whole life. And today, few years later, thousands of people are interested in these places, many of them hang graphics with factories, refineries, water towers in their living room and they go for trips just to see these places in person. I think it is evident, that these guys did a great job. 🙂 (Karolína Chromíková)

Preßburger Klezmer Band

Music band

The unique Bratislava music group Preßburger Klezmer Band has received many fans since its establishment in 1995. This first Slovak formation, inspired by emotional and dance music from Central and Eastern Europe known as klezmer, is also the best-rated group of its focus in Europe. Her energetic musical “cocktail” is captivatingly mixed from Jewish, Slovak, Balkan and Oriental music as well as from Gypsy folklore – all with the original essence of contemporary modern styles such as jazz, reggae and latino. Preßburger Klezmer Band is one of the leading representatives of the European world music scene. In recent years, he has collaborated with such Klezmer stars as The Klezmatics Lorin Sklamberg, Frank London, Merlin Shepherd, dancer Steve Weintraub and singer Sasha Lurje. Since its inception, the group has attended hundreds of diverse performances not only in Slovakia, but also in Europe and overseas, starting with multi-genre music festivals, through concerts in clubs and classical music halls, chamber performances and entertainment. The performances of the band bring a compelling interpretation of well-known and unique songs especially in Yiddish language, but also in Slovak, Hungarian, English and Balkan languages. They also express the fascinating emotion and dance of klezmer music. Preßburger Klezmer Band has eight CD albums, one LP album and many successful collaborations on film, theater and other projects. Tants mit mir has been awarded the prestigious Radio_HEAD AWARD for Best Slovak album in category World / Folk for 2012.

Why do we want to introduce them to you?

I have known the band a long time ago, but as I heard them play on music festival Zvuk for Štiavnica last year, I immediately knew they had to perform at our tenth year. We need to show them to the world 🙂 (Nikoleta Moravcová)

Barbara Lisá

Consultant

Barbara Lisá is 39 and lives in the UK with her Indian husband. For the last 5.5 years they have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive. She undergone three cycles of IVF, a miscarriage and cervical ectopic pregnancy that almost cost her life. She obtained two Masters’ degrees from Universities abroad. She won scholarships, academic awards and published an academic book called “The Toughest Moments of Entrepreneurs”. She was mentioned in several Slovak and foreign medias. Barbara founded one of the early Stag and Hen companies in the Central Europe. She has been working as a management consultant for global companies for the last 11 years. Her life goal is to inspire people to have an enjoyable and successful life and she writes very openly about her experiences on her blog @AutentickaZena and for Zeny v Meste. She enjoys dancing, has travelled a third of the world, reads a lot and constantly works on herself.

Why do we want to introduce her to you?

Infertility is a very sensitive topic. And yet we are so interested. When will you have children? And when will the second be? Why don’t you have children yet? Children are simply a theme of the day after a certain age. Barbara is an extremely receptive and sophisticated woman. That is why I am pleased that she is going to advise us how to communicate sensitively with people who are struggling with infertility. (Monika Ďurajková)

Jordan Shapiro

Author

Jordan Shapiro, PhD, is author of The New Childhood: Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World (2019). He is Senior Fellow for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, and Nonresident Fellow in the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. He teaches in Temple University’s Intellectual Heritage Program, and he wrote a column for Forbes on global education, digital play, and family life from 2012 to 2017. He lives in Philadelphia with his two sons.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

I like technology– it makes our work easier, provides fun and much more. As a child, I spent many hours playing computer games. But now, as a mum of two children, I often struggle with myself, I wonder how much time I allow them to spend on a computer or mobile. Jordan says we should spend more time with the kids in front of the screen. His thoughts made me think and rethink my approach. At the same time, during his nomination, there was a lively discussion in the team, which is always a good sign that this is an interesting and topical subject. (Dana Retová)

Venus Jahanpour

Headmistress

Venus is a founder of a private elementary school and kindergarten in Bratislava Petržalka with a remarkable environmental education programme. Born in Iran, she was expelled from high school and forced to escape her home country because she was a Baha’i. As a refugee in Sweden, she studied Political Science and Human Rights. In 1990, shortly after the Velvet Revolution, she moved to Czechoslovakia to pioneer various human rights educational programs. Her journey brought her to Bratislava which became her new home. Desiring a value-oriented education for her children she established a small home-schooling group, which over time grew to Brilliant Stars International Kindergartens and Primary School in Bratislava. From very early on, the school and the kindergartens put environmental education and protection at the heart of everything they did. Today, Venus shares her experience, inspires and helps other schools to introduce similar programmes. Beside running the school, she is also involved in humanitarian work centred around The Junior Youth Empowerment Program, Roma Education and the plight of Minority Human Rights.

Why do we want to introduce her to you?

With ever greater urgency, scientists warn us that our current lifestyle is unsustainable. A massive change in our behaviour and attitude to the planet we live on is required if we are to survive. Paradoxically, lately it has often been children that bring our attention to the urgency of these messages. Why children? What is their role in all of this? And what is the role of the education in tackling this problem? Venus, her teachers and pupils live and breathe ecology. It’s fascinating to listen to the stories of how children inspire their parents and sometimes even their parents’ companies to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious. (Rastislav Geschwandtner)

Andrew Dalziell

Therapist

Dr Andrew Dalziell is a passionate advocate of movement as a tool for improving cognition. He studies connection between physical movement and our ability to think. Andy received a doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. In the past he held a teaching assistant post at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of Better Movers and Thinkers – an innovative physical education programme successfully introduced at many primary and secondary schools in Scotland. Andy runs clinics in Scotland, England and Dubai where he helps infants, children, young people and adults with a wide variety of learning, behaviour and performance related issues. He has published multiple research papers on the topic and has delivered at many international conferences. In addition, Andy travels around the world delivering training courses focusing on motor skills and coordination development and their connection to cognition and learning. But as Andy himself says, his greatest achievement to date is being the father of three beautiful daughters which he credits for his undying passion, energy and desire to make the world a better place for everyone through moving and thinking.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

As a little boy I jumped over fences, chased a ball, hanged on carpet beating racks, climbed trees, skipped the rope… Common games of my generation. It was not before one of Andy’s seminars that I realized that all these “complex movements” were actually extremely important for the development of my cognitive and learning skills. Today, I don’t jump fences that much. But I sit a lot. Probably like most of you. What to do about it? What impact does it have on us? And what impact does it have on today’s children, who have less opportunities for movement and more vigilant parents on top of that? How can we get more movement to our lives? And what is movement anyway? I believe that after Andy’s talk the proverbial “Healthy body, healthy mind” will get a whole new meaning for you. (Rastislav Geschwandtner)

Martin Ondráček

Journalist and head of department fulfilling Christmas wishes

For more than 30 years, Martin is a part of a jurnalism scene in Czech Republic. He worked at various positions, both in radio and TV (TV Prima, TV Nova), and currently he is working as an Editor in chief in Czech Radio. When not working, he is “employed” as head of department fullfilling Christmas wishes. Together with Olga Štrejbarová, they stood at the start of Ježíškova Vnoučata (Jesus’ grandchildren) – a project to fullfil Christmas wishes of old and alone people in retirement homes all across Czech republic. He is still in charge of Ježíškova Vnoučata Facebook page and he personally fulfills some of the wishes.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

I have a feeling that young people don’t really think about aging. I used to be the same, until I met my 82 y.o. former neighbor, who lived alone. Most of her beloved ones, including her husband, were already gone and her only child lived abroad. We spent time together, while I was turning on her washing machine, which was her “reason” to invite me. 🙂 I knew it was not about the washing machine, but about the human contact and closeness. Mrs. Anna is no longer here, but she changed me. She let me look into the world of aging. And because of that, when I noticed the activities of organization Ježíškova Vnoučata, I knew we needed to open this topic. (Karolína Chromíková)

Ryan Martin Bradshaw

Pianist

Ryan is 12 years old and has both Slovak and Australian roots. He has been playing the piano since he was 6 years old and has been an extraordinary pupil at the Vienna University of Music and Musical Arts for three years, in the gifted children class at the piano teacher Vladimir Kharin. Despite his young age, Ryan is a laureate of 15 international piano competitions. Only this year he received three awards in Aarhus, Denmark, at the prestigious piano competition, where he was the youngest, first prize at the Vladimir Krainev piano competition in Moscow, where he played the Chopin concert with the Russian Philharmonic under the conductor Vladimir Spivakov in Svetlanovska Hall. He won the first prize at the Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Szafarnia, Poland, in May 2019, and a special prize – possibility to attend the Chopin Festival in the Netherlands. He won other awards from competitions in Sofia, Graz, Weimar, Holland, Zagrebe, Brno, Kosice, etc. Ryan had his debut with the orchestra at the age of 8, where he played with the Slovak Chamber Orchestra of the Slovak Philharmonic in the large SF Hall. He has played several times with the Vienna orchestra at the Justice Palace, Žilina with the Slovak Sinfonietta, Prague with the Prague Philharmonic, etc. .. Ryan has performed in major halls such as Brahms’ sala and Glass Hall at the Musikverein in Vienna, Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, Mozarteum Salzburg, Symfonisk sala in Aarhus, etc. Ryan had the honor to play Martha Argerich at the University of Vienna at Liszt Hall for piano wonder. He attended master classes with teachers from Juilliard School New York in Geneva, with Grigory Gruzman in Split. Ryan enjoys skiing and in summer playing tennis and cycling. He is also an amateur violinist.

Why do we want to introduce him to you?

Because he plays with his whole heart and young talents need to be strongly supported 🙂 (Nikoleta Moravcová)